About Service Learning

Service learning is a pedagogy that links academic study and civic engagement through thoughtfully organized service that meets the needs of the community. Texas Tech University Service Learning Program is supported by the Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement (CALUE) and the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLPDC) and provides information, support, and opportunities concerning service learning to students, faculty, and community members, fostering an appreciation of the academic and social values of community engagement.

While there are many ways in which students and faculty may participate in community engagement, with a focus on reflection and reciprocity, service learning stands apart from experiences such as volunteering and internships. Through service learning, the needs of both the community partner and student are considered equally in the development of projects and service initiatives. In addition, in service learning there is an emphasis on critical reflection in which students are asked to make connections between course content and the service experience.

Benefits of Service Learning

Service learning provides faculty opportunities to create dynamic learning environments for their undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to helping connect students and faculty to the community, service learning provides all involved with an enriched learning environment as students are able to realize the application of course content through their service experience. One Texas Tech faculty involved with service learning notes that "Service learning creates a space for the course material to shift from printed words on a page to a lived experience that alters the lives of my students and their communities."

How to Get Involved in Service Learning

The staff at the TLPDC and CALUE would be happy to work with anyone who is considering or interested in integrating service learning into the classroom. If you have questions or would like additional information regarding service learning, please contact Micah Logan at micah.m.logan@ttu.edu or Hillary Siegfried at hillary.siegfried@ttu.edu.

Faculty who are interested in developing a new service learning course are also invited to apply to participate in the Service Learning Faculty Fellows (SLFF) program. Supported by the TLPDC and CALUE, the SLFF program fosters a community of scholars who integrate the philosophy, pedagogy, and process of service learning into each component of their professional lives-research, teaching, and service. For more information on the SLFF program, please visit http://www.tlpd.ttu.edu/servicelearning/faculty/ffellows.asp.

"S" Designation

Texas Tech officially recognizes approved service learning courses with an "S" designation. If you are interested in having your service learning course designated, please think about submitting your service learning course materials for consideration. "S" designation applications are reviewed in the fall and spring semesters and are coordinated by CALUE. For questions on "S" designations, please visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/calue/SLFaculty.php or contact Hillary Siegfried at hillary.siegfried@ttu.edu